Counterpoint Research’s latest report on global smartphone shipments has arrived and it highlights a major decline in smartphone sales in the first quarter of this year. Global smartphone sales fell below 300 million after a decline of 13%, which is a number that hasn’t been reported since 2014.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the signs of recovery the market was showing in Q4 2019. The downfall was mainly caused by a 27% YoY decrease in shipments in China, the initial epicenter of the outbreak. The disruption also affected the supply side of handsets and their components which ultimately resulted in a global decline.

Counterpoint believes that this could result in OEMs diversifying their supply chain across regions. This could be extremely fruitful for regions like India and Vietnam.

Nearly all companies suffered a significant decline in Q1 2020 with the exception of three – Xiaomi, Realme, and Tecno. In fact, Xiaomi and Realme ended up improving their shipments compared to last year and Tecno only suffered an insignificant loss.

Smartphone Sales Decline 13% in Q1 2020 Thanks to The Coronavirus

However, the overall picture remains the same with Samsung leading the charge followed by Huawei and Apple securing the second and third spot respectively. Xiaomi and Oppo are still amongst the top 5 on the list with plenty of other Chinese brands following in.

According to Counterpoint, the effects of the pandemic are going to worsen in Q2 2020. Some companies are going to suffer more than others with the exception of Chinese OEMs as the region has started recovering from the epidemic so the likes of Huawei and Oppo will see less of an impact in the next quarter.

Samsung, on the other hand, is going to need more time to recover as all major markets of the Korean phone maker are under lockdown.